Summer Travel: Shake Off The Stress & Travel For Less
June 2, 2022
Many of the nation's leading travel experts are predicting a surge in travel this summer. It's no surprise that after years of restrictions, Americans are ready to set out on their next adventures. While popular destinations are likely to be open and welcoming visitors, the uptick in traffic combined with higher prices on everything may translate into more expensive travel.
If you're planning a trip this summer, learn how to incorporate some smart spending strategies with these tips from some financial experts.
Timing is everything, be flexible on travel dates and destinations. Unless your travel is tied to a specific event or occasion, try searching with flexible dates to find the best available rates. Similarly, if you know you want to get away but you're not particular about where, try looking for destinations offering special promotions or deals for travel during certain timeframes. A good tip is to fly when no one else wants to. This may not be the exact time you would like, but it will save you money on the destination you want to spend your vacation at. In general, plan to fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday or in the afternoon on Saturday to score a cheaper domestic flight. Early mornings and late nights are also less popular and more affordable times to fly, as are Thanksgiving, the Eves and Days of Christmas and New Year’s. If you want to find the best month to take your trip, plug your home airport and getaway location into Google Flights or Kayak Explore to see the cheapest times to fly. Besides saving money, avoiding peak travel days will often mean you’ll travel on slightly less-crowded flights and go through shorter airport security lines, so that's a win.
There is much debate about when to book your flight to get the best deal. For a domestic trip, you should get your ticket 21 to 115 days before your trip. Ticket prices during that window will be within 5% of its lowest point, according to a CheapAir.com survey. For an international flight, book the trip at least six months in advance, according to the travel Web-Site, The Points Guy.
Consider trip interruption and cancellation policies. Planning for the unexpected can help protect you if a trip needs to end early or be canceled altogether. Unless you have travel insurance, you're likely to lose money on non-refundable expenses such as flights, event tickets or tours. However, some travel companies or your credit card provider may cover reimbursement for certain prepaid expenses. Look into what options are available before you travel to avoid extra headaches when the unexpected occurs during a trip.
Get Rewarded No Matter How You Travel
Using your credit card rewards to offset travel costs is a smart strategy, but not everyone wants or needs perks like miles or points that are exclusive to use with a single travel partner. With point-based travel reward cards, like the Credit One Bank Wander Card, the more places you visit, the more rewards you reap along the way that can be redeemed for future experiences, statement credits, gift cards and more. That means no matter what hotel chain you stay at, car rental agency you select or airline you fly with - or as you mix and match to get the best deals - everyday adventurers have opportunities to earn up to five times the rewards points for doing things they love.
Come Up With A Realistic Budget
When you're planning a trip, it's easy to focus on the big-ticket expenses like airfare and hotel rooms. The reality is, when you add up all of the smaller expenses, you may spend significantly more than you realize. To plan a more accurate budget, be sure you account for expenses like dining out at restaurants, paying for fuel at the pump and tickets to attractions and events. Don't forget fees that add up, too, like tips for housekeeping, checked bags, Wi-Fi Access, parking and souvenirs.
Research and Book Free/Discounted Attractions
Some attractions offer discounts for purchasing tickets in advance On-Line, age-based discounts or free admission at certain times or dates, so be sure to look into any attractions you hope to visit ahead of time. If you're a travel rewards credit card holder, start your search by looking into your redemption options. If your card offers flexible options by booking through a specific partner site or dedicated travel platform, you might be able to redeem points or make your spending dollars go further toward earning more rewards for the cost of experiences, entertainment and other expenses while you travel.
Vacations Under $1,000
How can you find vacations under $1,000, you ask? Expedia.com has an option on their Web-Site to search for vacations under $1,000. Simply go to: www.expedia.com/lp/b/vacations/under-1000-dollars and enter your destination and travel dates, then hit search to see flight and hotel packages created for under $1,000. This is a great way to travel for less and find a new destination you may never have thought of. Alternatively, you can build your own vacation under $1,000 Dollars by clicking on hotels, car rentals, things to do, or flights that work best for you.
With all of the problems going on throughout the world it may not seem like a good time to get away, but that might just be what you need to shake off the stresses of life. Vacations do not have to be expensive or even far from home. Like Jimmy Buffett says "Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude." Who knows, with a little bit of research you just might find the best trip you'll ever take.